Are you a college student longing to travel overseas but wondering how you can afford it?
The truth is that international travel is not as costly as many people imagine, but if you’re struggling to pay your tuition and other expenses, even that might seem out of reach.
Travelling internationally is one of the most fun, beneficial and best things I’ve ever done. It gave me so much life experience, amazing memories and lifetime friends.
If you’re worried about budget though, in fact, there are a lot of student discounts and opportunities for international travel at this point in your life. Travel might never again be as accessible for you as it is right now.
Whether you choose to go through a program at your university or enroll in a foreign university of your own accord, a few weeks or a whole year of study abroad can be a great way to broaden your horizons, become fluent in a language and increase your independence. Start with a visit to your school’s study abroad office to find out what the possibilities are.
Your university might have a program in which you travel with students and professors from your school to a foreign one for several weeks, or there may be exchange programs in place with other universities that allow you to transfer credits.
Consider Student Loans
Many people may not realize that you might be able to use student loans to pay for study abroad. Your school may have an agreement with a foreign university that allows you to pay your regular tuition.
Even if this is not the case, tuition overseas might be cheaper than what you are paying at home. If you have not already taken out student loans, you might consider looking at what is available to you. You may be able to get private loans if you are ineligible for federal ones. While it is important to avoid accumulating too much debt, overseas experience can represent a significant investment in your future.
If you are a student or just under a certain age, several countries offer temporary work abroad opportunities for Americans, including Ireland, New Zealand and South Korea. This can be an excellent opportunity to really get to know the country in a way the tourists do, not by working alongside the people who live there. You can also start your travels in this way, saving up money to hit the road after your work experience.
Students backpacking around the world or just Europe is a decades old tradition, and there’s no reason why you can’t combine this route with some of the above or just take off on your own.
From transportation to accommodations to museums and more, there are many student discounts that significantly reduce your costs. If you stick to hostels, where you’ll stay in a room with other young people, in some locations, you can pay as little as $10 per night or less.
Some programs focus specifically on intensive language study. If you want a structured environment in which to become more fluent in a particular language, there are programs ranging from a couple of weeks to months and offering accommodations from apartments to homestays. Even though these are often private programs, you might be able to get college credit. Talk to your school to find out.